Meaning of Anthropocentrism

What is Anthropocentrism:

Anthropocentrism is a philosophical current that had its origin in the Renaissance, according to which man is the measure of all things and the center of the universe. The word is formed from the Latin expression anthropowhich means ‘man’ and the suffix ismwhich means ‘movement’.

This school of thought is also known as anthropocentric humanism and it has its direct antecedents in the theological humanism of the Late Middle Ages, which revalued the human being as a divine creation. Over time, this approach led to the appreciation of man in himself, a transformation that occurred under the influence of the Greco-Latin classics.

Part of the postulates of anthropocentrism are related to historical transformations such as:

  • the secularization of knowledge and society;
  • the translation of many texts from Latin, Arabic and Greek into the common languages;
  • the heyday of universities (appeared in the Middle Ages);
  • the understanding of man as a whole (pleasure, dignity and freedom);
  • the revaluation of the human through the study of Classical Antiquity, and
  • the emergence of the concept of autonomy of art.

In the context of anthropocentric philosophy, the ideal of the gentle mancharacterized by being a model image of the multiple and learned man, who handles different areas of knowledge (liberal arts, sciences, etc.) and who is distinguished by the display of such knowledge.

Anthropocentrism thus becomes a paradigm of thought that allows opening the way for the conformation of the modernity or modern agewith all that this implies, especially from the progressive freedom for study and research, which allowed the development of science.

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Among the most representative authors of anthropocentrism we can mention Erasmus of Rotterdam, famous for having written the In Praise of Madnessand Michelle de Montaige, a French writer known for creating the essay genre.

See also:

  • Modernity.
  • Renaissance.
  • Humanism.